Quality circles is a term that was coined in the 1980s and refers to a group of workers that come together to discuss issues, offer solutions, and take action. These groups are given responsibility and authority to make changes in the workplace.
The theory behind quality circles is that they increase employee involvement in the improvement of quality in the workplace. This can be through improving processes or improving the atmosphere of the work environment.
By giving workers responsibility for these improvements, it also increases their confidence and trust in them. It helps build a sense of community within the workplace as well as increases productivity by having more involvement and input from everyone.
There are many different ways to run a quality circle group. The most important element is giving workers responsibility and authority to take action on things that will improve quality in the workplace.
The concept of continuous improvement is known as PDSA, or planned-do-study-act. This model requires workers to plan changes they want to make, do a trial run, study the results, and then act on the results by making the change permanent.
In doing so, people working on the change are required to be aware of their role in the process and take responsibility for their part. The “A” in PDSA also refers to acceptance of the change, whether that be acceptance of the new solution or failure to adopt the change.
By having people involved in the change process accept or reject it, they are more likely to take ownership of it and make it permanent. This is important because if people do not accept the change, they may go back to how things were before.
PDSA is an integral part of improving quality within an organization and beyond.
Lean manufacturing is a system that encourages teamwork and quality improvement. It also promotes waste reduction, efficiency improvements, and value-added production.
It was developed in the late 1980s by several researchers who studied manufacturing processes in Japan. The term lean refers to eliminating unnecessary activities, processes, and inventory.
In a nutshell, lean is a management philosophy that focuses on the achievement of organizational excellence through the transformation of internal and external systems-including process structures, job responsibilities, skillsets, and workforce composition-and the adoption of new business models.
By doing so, lean organizations enhance their customer value and overall organizational performance. A key aspect of this is valuing people as assets who can contribute to organizational success.
Lean manufacturing applies several concepts to achieve its goals: 5S, kaizen, gemba walk, Heijunka, 8 wastes, flow theory.
Theory of constraints
The theory of constraints, or TOC, is a management philosophy that was developed by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt in the 1980s. He initially wrote about it in his novel The Goal, but later rewrote it as a nonfiction book called The Goal: A Process of Continuous Improvement.
The TOC is based on the idea that there is a limited capacity to produce results within an organization. There are several constraints that can limit this capacity, including time, money, knowledge, and effort.
Time is limited because there are only so many hours in a day and people can only work so hard. Money is limited because the organization cannot spend more than it has. Knowledge is limited because people may not know how to do something, and effort is limited because people can only work so hard.
The theory argues that you should focus on reducing the time it takes to accomplish tasks in order to increase productivity and quality of work.
The term 6 sigma refers to a set of standards for quality. A sigma is a measurement that defines the level of quality.
A 3-sigma quality level means that 99% of the time, the product or service is right. The other 1% of the time, there is some sort of error or flaw.
A 6-sigma quality level means that 99.999% of the time, the product or service is right. There is virtually no chance that there is an error or flaw in the product or service.
Sigma levels can be lowered depending on the industry and what quality level is needed. For example, an oil company may need a 3-sigma quality level to ensure its pipes do not leak, but an airline may need a 5-sigma level to ensure safety.
The term six sigma was coined by GE in 1990 following its extensive research into improving business process efficiency.
Total quality management
This is a method of management that was developed in the 1980s. It is still used widely today, even in companies with just a few employees.
It was developed by engineers who were working on improving manufacturing processes. They found that the best way to improve anything is to start with a quality product.
If you start with a poor quality product, then no improvement will be made unless you get a new one. This is what they found during their research!
They also found that all workers have input into the production process and can make changes if they find something wrong with it. This includes finding better ways to do things or replacing parts.
Total quality management gives all workers responsibility for improving the quality of their work and the overall quality of the company.
Implementing lean principles requires planning and effort. Creating an implementation plan ensures that the effort put in is structured and systematic.
An implementation plan includes the who, what, when, where, why, and how of changing processes. The who includes the people who will be involved in the changes being made and the people who will be affected by the changes.
The what refers to what processes are going to be changed and how they are going to be changed. The when refers to timelines for events such as process improvements or training sessions. The where refers to locations such as which areas of the facility improvements will take place. Why explains the purpose of the changes and why they are being made. How explains how the changes will be done and implemented.
This gives all involved members a general idea of what changes are coming and how they will happen.
Leadership and responsibility
A key aspect of leadership is giving your team members responsibility. As a leader, you need to trust that your team members are doing their best and know how to do their jobs.
If someone on your team is not performing well, then you need to talk to them about it. Tell them what they are doing well and what they can improve on.
Tell them that you believe in them and that they can improve- it’s important to mean it when you say this!
If they do not improve after talking to them, then it may be time to talk to HR about terminating their employment with your organization. It is very difficult to continue to work with someone that does not believe in themselves or does not want to improve.
Employee involvement is a term used to describe giving employees responsibility and authority over changes that affect them. This can be in the form of letting employees choose their own tools or equipment, or it can be letting them choose how to improve a process.
Employee involvement can also mean letting employees decide on the changes that need to be made in order to improve the quality of the product or service being produced. This includes deciding on new processes and new ways of doing things.
How does this work? In companies that use employee involvement, workers are given education on how their job impacts quality and how they can make changes to improve it. They are then given responsibility to make those changes, whether that is by using new tools or equipment, changing processes, or other such things.
Why use employee involvement? It has been proven that using employee involvement increases productivity, efficiency, and quality while reducing turnover and cost.